Trailblazing Howard County Fire and Rescue Chief Retires
After an illustrious 30-year career Chief Christine Uhlhorn has announced her retirement today. Uhlhorn is a 30-year veteran of the Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services and a third-generation firefighter. County Executive Calvin Ball appointed her as the first female Chief in Howard County in December of 2018 at the beginning of his first term.
“Chief Uhlhorn was committed to our vision of creating a safe and engaged community, setting new standards for limiting carcinogen exposure for firefighters, and helping all our residents live healthier lives, while thriving” said Howard County Executive Calvin Ball. “With 30 years serving Howard County Fire and Rescue, she has dedicated her life to protecting the residents of Howard County, and I’m incredibly grateful for the time she served, taking every opportunity to make our County the best place for all.”
Uhlhorn began her career with Howard County in 1989 as a firefighter recruit and emergency medical technician working at Station 9, Long Reach. She rose through the ranks and was promoted to Assistant Chief in 2016. During her career, she served in various leadership roles and held positions as the Fire Officer Association president and Safe Kids Coordinator.
As Chief, Uhlhorn took proactive steps to ensure the safety and longevity of Howard County firefighters and paramedics through a carcinogen reduction plan, which includes implementing clean cab engines into the fire department fleet. She also oversaw the opening of the new Merriweather Station and broke ground on the Waterloo Station. Additionally, Uhlhorn worked with the Office of Budget to eliminate the structural deficit in the fire fund, restoring financial stability to the key funding source for the Department.
Uhlhorn was one of the first of four women Fire Chiefs in the state of Maryland, creating a small sisterhood of Chiefs from Anne Arundel, Baltimore, and Prince George’s County. She also understood her position as a role model for young girls – serving as President of St. Florian’s Brigade, dedicated to informing, educating, and advocating for the change that promotes and facilitates the success of both volunteer and career women affiliated with the Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue. Additionally, she participated in the First Alarm Fire Camp, a summer camp primarily for girls, but open to all children, to learn about fire education and safety.
“I am honored to have been able to serve Howard County for over 30 years, and to be chosen by County Executive Ball as the county’s Fire Chief,” said Chief Christine Uhlhorn. “I am truly grateful to have had the opportunity to support the County Executive and his team in their vision. I hope that I have moved the Department of Fire and Rescue forward, making us a better department and a safer community.”
Chief Uhlhorn’s last day will be February 29th. Deputy Chief Bill Anuszewski will serve as Acting Chief beginning March 1st. Anuszewski is currently the Deputy Chief of Operations for Fire and Rescue and serving as the Director of Emergency Management. Over his 30-year career, he has worked in multiple bureaus within the department, serving as Battalion Chief of Special Operations, Field Operations, and Assistant Chief of Logistics. From 2012 to 2017, he oversaw matters of budget, payroll, grant management, human resources, and research and policy as Assistant Chief of Administrative Services.
“Chief Uhlhorn has been a valued member of the department for over 30 years, serving in many capacities,” said Deputy Chief Anuszewski. “Her vision for inclusion and safety is one that we should never lose focus on, and one that I am honored to continue.”